Thomas F. Reynolds
b. 30 Jun 1863, Marshall, Clark County, Illinois
m. 5 Nov 1884 to Mary C Delaney
d. 26 Oct 1926, Decatur, Macon County, Illinois
I had a big problem with Thomas originally. His obituary and his tombstone both said he was born in 1863. How then did he wind up on an 1860 census? Not only that, but further census records listed his birth year as 1859/1857/etc. It was something I had to think about extensively because I didn’t want to be wrong.
What I finally decided (with some help from my mom) was that there probably had been another Thomas Reynolds born to John and Bridget who likely died sometime after the 1860 census. When another son was born, they gave him the name Thomas as well. That’s the best possible answer I have.
According to his obituary, he had two living sisters at the time of his death. I suspect his middle name was Francis, and naming patterns in the family do suggest the possibility, but I have never seen anything to confirm it. He was born in Marshall, Illinois but wound up in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. If you’re unfamiliar with the locations of these two towns, Marshall is on the east side of the state of Illinois, fairly close to the state’s border with Indiana. Cape Girardeau is on the Mississippi River, just across from the state of Illinois. So how did Thomas wind up in Cape Girardeau?
So far, I don’t have the answer. I suspect it might have something to do with the railroad. Thomas eventually leaves Cape and returns to Illinois, settling in Decatur in 1911 where he joins the Wabash Railroad as a stationary engineer according to his obituary, and his son also enters the railroad industry. It’s possible that the railroad brought him to Cape where he lived for a time.
He passed away in 1926 and was buried at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Decatur, Illinois.